Bass Transcription: Anthony Jackson’s Bass Part on I.G.Y. by Donald Fagen…
Donald Fagen’s 1982 solo debut extends the sleek, smart pop craft of his work with Steely Dan into the realm of the concept album, taking the Dan’s penchant for intricate plotting, evocative narrative voices, and allusive imagery to the logical next step. Fagen’s connective thread is futurist nostalgia for the “New Frontier” as anticipated from the prosperous vantage point of late-’50s America.
He romanticizes a brave new world of technology in the sultry diorama of “I.G.Y.,” celebrating the coming glories of the Atomic Age. “I.G.Y.” stands for the International Geophysical Year. You can read all about it at this link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Geophysical_Year
Now onto Anthony Jackson’s masterful bass part.
AJ’s bass line is as intrinsic to the song as the melody itself. No doubt Mr. Fagen composed the bass part and he had his choice of bassists to play the part but he chose Anthony Jackson. The part requires equal parts restraint, dynamics, dead center in the pocket groove, and tone. AJ provided all in spades. Think this is a simple ‘throw away easy pop’ bass line that doesn’t require much thinking, think again. As with ALL of Anthony’s bass parts every note is carefully orchestrated in terms of range and articulation. I highly recommend playing along with this ‘easy’ track and see just how much finesse and careful listening it requires. Bring these sensibilities to you next pop recording session and you’ll be happy with just how much better you sound… Enjoy!
Click below to download Anthony Jackson’s Bass Part on I.G.Y. by Donald Fagen: